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MA in TESOL & Translation Studies

Work towards Chartered Institute of Linguists certification and TRADOS certification

Why choose this course?

  • Shared modules with the MA in Translation in a European Context which is a member of the European Masters in Translation (EMT) Network and of the OPTIMALE project.
  • Excellence in Translation Award (sponsored by the Translation People Company) for the best student overall on the MA in Translation in a European Context
  • Amicus Transtec Prize (sponsored by Amicus TransTec Limited) for the best final assignment in module LIM015, The Translation Profession

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Duration: Full-time: 12 months. Part-time: 2-3 years

Start date(s): October 

Distance learning available: No

Intake: Approximately 15 per year

Entry requirements: 
A good UK Honours Degree (minimum 2:1) in Translation Studies or in French and/or German and/or Spanish, or an overseas degree recognised by Aston University, plus two references.

International students whose native language is not English and have not completed a full degree programme taught in English, will need to obtain: An IELTS score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 7 in writing and minimum of 6 in speaking, listening and reading.

Holders of the Chartered Institute of Linguists' Diploma in Translation and Members of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) may be awarded credits for prior experience.

Fees for 2014/2015*: 
UK/ EU: £4,700 
Non-EU: £13,000 
*These figures have not been confirmed, but they are expected to be approximately as stated. Part-time students pay a pro-rata version of full-time fees. 

Application:
We recommend that overseas students apply before the end of June due to visa requirements as these can take a few weeks to process.

Apply for this course online
The MA in TESOL and Translation Studies is for those who wish to pursue a career in TESOL and acquire additional expertise in translation theory and practice.  It is designed for those who have little or no teaching experience and builds on our extensive experience and highly successful distance learning Masters programmes in TESOL. A distinctive feature is the Teaching in Practice module. You can develop more in-depth skills by choosing your optional module.
Sample module options

The following module descriptions are indications only - the modules on offer and the content of the modules is subject to change.

Core modules:

Number of credits: 30

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will be introduced to controversial debates concerning some basic concepts of translation studies and approaches to translation in order to develop a critical reflection on theoretical aspects. Various approaches to translation throughout recent decades will be discussed.

Module Content: The following topics will be discussed:

  • The emergence of translation studies as an academic discipline

  • Early reflections on translation: e.g. St Jerome, Luther, Schleiermacher

  • Linguistics-based approaches to translation (translation as interlingual transfer): e.g. Catford, Jakobson, Kade, Wilss, Vinay & Darbelnet, Newmark, Koller; concepts covered include: fidelity, faithfulness, translatability, equivalence, decoding, encoding, transcoding, translation procedures

  • Textlinguistic approaches to translation (translation as text production): e.g. Reiß, Neubert, Göpferich, Trosborg, Hatim & Mason; concepts covered include: text type, genre, textuality, convention

  • Functionalist theories of translation (translation as purposeful activity performed by experts): e.g. Vermeer, Reiß & Vermeer, Nord, Holz-Mänttäri, Hönig & Kußmaul, Chesterman; concepts covered include: function, purpose, skopos, translatorial action, translation problem, translation strategy, loyalty

  • Descriptive Translation Studies (translation as norm-governed behaviour): e.g. Toury, Hermans, Even-Zohar, Lambert; concepts covered include: polysystem, norms, regularities, patronage

  • Cultural studies and translation (translation as representation of the other): e.g. Venuti, Arrojo, Bassnett, Lefevere; concepts covered include: cultural turn, foreignisation, domestication, visibility

  • Postmodern and postcolonial theories of translation: e.g. Niranjana, Tymoczko, Gentzler & Tymoczko; concepts covered include: power, ideology, gender, ethics

  • Sociological approaches to translation: e.g. Wolf; concepts covered include: habitus, field, capital

  • Translation as a profession / Translation in institutions / New forms of translation (job profiles, media translation, dubbing and subtitling, MT and MAT, corpus-based Translation Studies, translations and EU institutions, etc.).

Method of Assessment: A total of three essays:
Two short essays (15 % each). Critical reviews of key concepts or approaches of translation studies based on literature review (approx. 1500 words each): 30%. 

One extended essay (5,000 - 6,000 words) on a theoretical topic to be submitted at the end of the module: 70%.

Essential Reading:
Munday, Jeremy (2008) Introducing Translation Studies. Theories and Applications. London, Routledge, (2nd edition)

Venuti, Lawrence (ed) (2004) The Translation Studies Reader. London and New York: Routledge. (2nd edition)

Number of credits: 10

Module Learning Outcomes: This module aims to consolidate students’ understanding of concepts and methods of linguistics and text analysis in order to apply this knowledge to a translation task.

Knowledge and understanding of

  • Key concepts of syntax, semantics, pragmatics, textlinguistics, discourse analysis

  • The relevance of linguistic concepts for translation-oriented text analysis

  • Different types of written communication; their communicative functions, text types and related macro- and micro-textual features

  • Key features of argumentative, informative and expressive discourse functions

  • The importance of source text analysis as a pre-requisite for production of a functionally adequate target text.

Method of Assessment: Oral examination (25 minutes) at the end of teaching period 1 on theoretical notions covered in the respective sessions with a particular focus on a pretranslational analysis of an English Source Text (approx. 1000 words). 100%

Recommended Reading:

Fromkin, Victoria, Rodman, Robert and Hyams, Nina (2003): An Introduction to Language.
Boston, Mass: Thomson Heinle (7th edition)

Nord, Christiane (2005) Text analysis in translation, theory, methodology, and didactic application of a model for translation-oriented text analysis. 2nd ed, Amsterdam, Rodopi, Trask, Larry A Student's Dictionary of Language and Linguistics, Arnold, London 1997

Number of credits: 20

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will acquire knowledge of and skills in a variety of professional aspects of translation and the professional environment. An important part of this module is to foster team working skills and reflection on own knowledge, strengths and weaknesses so that students become reflective practitioners. Students will acquire knowledge:

  • of the procedures of project management in translation companies

  • of quality control mechanisms in translation companies

  • of the differences in the work of free-lance translators and translators in employment

  • of legal and ethical aspects of the profession

  • of the manual and electronic tools and processes involved in translation and project management and work with clients

Module Content: The main objective is to simulate a professional environment for students to focus on the actual process of managing a translation project. After introductory seminars, students will meet in groups and create their own translation companies, assigning roles to members of the group by negotiation, and secure a translation commission.

Method of Assessment

  1. A progress report of approx. 800 words on setting up a company, assigning professional roles, and finding a client, to be submitted by the team (by name) on the last day of TP1. 20%

  2. A critical reflective report of approx. 4,000 words, to be submitted by each student individually, by candidate number at the end of the module (see assessment package for exact date) 80%

Number of credits: 20

Module Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module, students are expected to have knowledge and understanding of: key issues in lesson planning and preparation; principles and implementation of classroom procedures, activities, techniques; evaluation of language learning and language teaching; variety of aspects of classroom practice.

Module Content: This module will enable the students to gain practical skills in teaching. Areas covered will include: Classroom interaction and discourse, Classroom management, Teaching skills, Teaching grammar and lexis, Observing language classrooms, Classroom research, Language awareness.

Method of Learning and Teaching

Microteaching sessions will incorporated into the module during Weeks 5-8

You will get a chance to do two microteaching sessions. You will be required to produce a lesson plan for each lesson that you teach. You will also observe your peers’ lessons and be encouraged to reflect on own as well as peers’ lessons during post-observation feedback sessions led by a tutor.

There will be guided sessions and group work to prepare lessons and lesson material in class. Feedback on teaching practice will be held as a group and individually where appropriate.

Method of Assessment:

50 % of the assessment involves evaluation of microteaching (second session).

50 % of the assessment involves a closed-book written exam. 

Essential Reading:

Bailey, K. and Nunan, D. (eds.) 1996.  Voices from the Language Classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Brown, H. 2000. Principles of Language Learning and Teaching.3rd. Edition. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall Regents.
Edge, J. and Garton, S. 2009. From Experience to Knowledge in ELT. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gower, R., D. Phillips and S. Walters. 1995. Teaching Practice Handbook. Macmillan ELT
Harmer, J. 2007.The Practice of English Language Teaching.Pearson Longman.
Scrivener, J. 2005.Learning Teaching Heinemann
Thornbury, S. 1997.About Language: Tasks for Teachers of English. Cambridge University Press
Thornbury, S. 2006. Grammar.Oxford University Press.
Ur, P. 1996. A Course in Language Teaching.Cambridge University Press.
Willis, J. and Willis, D. (eds.) 1996.Challenge and Change in Language Teaching. Oxford: Heinemann.

Number of credits: 20

Module learning outcomes: Students will be introduced to key research relating to second language acquisition, and principles relating to classroom procedures, activities, and techniques. They will develop their understanding of teacher talk and the analysis of classroom data.

Module ContentStudents will be introduced to key research relating to second language acquisition, and principles relating to classroom procedures, activities, and techniques. They will develop their understanding of teacher talk and the analysis of classroom data.

Method of Assessment:

There are three assessment tasks for this module:

Presentation (25%) (1,000 words equivalent)

Presentation on an aspect of classroom pedagogy.


Summary writing (25%) (1,000 words equivalent)

Summaries, in candidate’s own words, of 4 relevant research articles/chapters

Project (50%) (2,000 words equivalent)

A critical evaluation of an area of language teaching pedagogy.

Formative assessment is via exercises and tasks, with tutor feedback as appropriate.

Number of credits: 10

Module Learning Outcomes: Knowledge and understanding of

  • what constitutes research

  • the different paradigms associated with different research traditions

  • specific research methods used within these different traditions: set-up, procedures, results, constraints

  • the ethical dimension within any research project

Module Content (Part I)

Part I of the module in Research Methods is a general introduction to research methods:

  1. Introduction to the broad based nature of the School and the main approaches to research covered by the different disciplines within it. Overview on the nature of postgraduate study and the role of research at postgraduate level.

  2. Methods of acquiring new data: Identifying the gap in the literature; using library and IT facilities; access to people, organisations and unpublished data.

  3. Understanding the paradigms in which we research. (what can we know? how can we know it? Awareness of various views on cultural partiality, positionality and objectivity).

  4. An awareness of ethical and legal issues (e.g. the rights of other researchers and of research subjects, intellectual property rights, working in teams)

Module Content (Part II for Translation Studies programmes)

The second part of the module in Research Methods is devoted to research methods that are specific to translation studies. These can be grouped into comparative, process, and causal models. Comparative models aim at discovering similarities and differences (esp. between linguistics systems, between genres, between source text and target text, between original texts/language and translated texts/language). Process models are dynamic models, representing changes of status through time (phases in the process). Causal models aim at discovering causal conditions that produce target texts, which in turn produce effects.

Method of Assessment

  1. Oral presentation in main examination period. Students present an outline of their dissertation topic (10-15 minutes),

  2. Submission of a portfolio consisting of (a) a list of (at least 10) bibliographical sources (b) completed form on ethical implications of the research

Choose of one of the following modules as option:

Number of credits: 20

Module Learning Outcomes: This module aims to consolidate advanced awareness of contemporary translation theories and to apply these to practical skills involved in the translation process, with reference to features of Specialised Translation including the role of corpora. Each student chooses a specific, semi-specialised domain for study and researches the subject, text conventions, lexical and grammatical features, content and intercultural issues that must be considered when translating a text from that domain.

Module Content: Students will be introduced to concepts of LSP Translation and will study texts for specific domains, as well as looking at different text types and analysing typical features of each. Seminars will introduce students to relevant methodology and research skills, to be applied to their chosen domain and text type, with the opportunity for consultation each week during the research phase.

Methods of assessment: Assessment will be in two parts, as follows:

  1. Each student will compile a corpus of comparable texts, which will be used as the basis for a comprehensive study (4,000 words, plus supporting corpora) of the conventions and textual features of the chosen genre, along with analysis and discussion of the translation issues arising from this. 75%

  2. In addition, the student will prepare a glossary of 50 key terms from the semispecialised domain chosen, with definitions and examples of use taken from the corpus. 25%

Number of credits: 20

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the relevance of contemporary translation theories to translation performance

  • different types of written communication; their communicative functions, text types , genres

  • key features of argumentative, informative and expressive discourse

  • the complexities of reader expectations, needs and profile in text reception

  • the importance of source text analysis as a pre-requisite for production of a functionally adequate target text

  • the role of a brief in determining professional text production and adequacy for purpose – target audience, purpose, scope, deadlines, selection of material

  • the importance of revising translated text

Methods of learning and teaching: Class discussion, supported by independent reflection and preparation of specific texts within the framework of a specified brief: each week students will prepare a draft translation of one text and edit their draft of the previous one to a professional standard. During the seminar, an interactive approach to analysis and discussion will encourage reflection, argumentation skills and reasoning supported by evidence. The texts to be translated will be taken from the domains of political, legal, cultural and journalistic discourses, with a special emphasis on European affairs. Work with a range of text types and genres will promote an enhanced command of various styles of written English and French.

Method of Assessment: The structure of assessment will depend on the mother tongue of the student concerned.

For native speakers of English:
1. a take-away paper, translation into English (600-700 words, to be completed within 48 hours) with annotations 60% of the final mark
2. a two-hour examination, translation into English (text of 400 words) - 40% of the final mark.

For native speakers of French:
Preparation of a translation portfolio, consisting of a French source text of about 1,000 words, its translation into English, and a written record of the translation and the research process.Translation 60%. Pre-translation analysis plus annotations 40%.

Students whose mother tongue is neither English nor French need to decide on one of the two options in consultation with the lecturer. Students taking both English-French and French-English, for whom neither language is mother-tongue, must complete both types of assessment, one for each module.

Number of credits: 20

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the relevance of contemporary translation theories to translation performance

  • different types of written communication; their communicative functions, text types, genres

  • key features of argumentative, informative and expressive discourse

  • the complexities of reader expectations, needs and profile in text reception

  • the importance of source text analysis as a pre-requisite for production of a functionally adequate target text

  • the role of a brief in determining professional text production and adequacy for purpose – target audience, purpose, scope, deadlines, selection of material

  • the importance of revising translated text

Methods of learning and teaching: Class discussion, supported by independent reflection and preparation of specific texts within the framework of a specified brief: each week students will prepare a draft translation of one text and edit their draft of the previous one to a professional standard. During the seminar, an interactive approach to analysis and discussion will encourage reflection, argumentation skills and reasoning supported by evidence. The texts to be translated will be taken from the domains of political, legal, cultural and journalistic discourses, with a special emphasis on European affairs. Work with a range of text types and genres will promote an enhanced command of various styles of written English and German.

Method of Assessment: The structure of assessment will depend on the mother tongue of the student concerned.

For native speakers of English:
1. a take-away paper, translation into English (600-700 words, to be completed within 48 hours) with annotations 60% of the final mark
2. a two-hour examination, translation into English (text of 400 words) - 40% of the final mark.

For native speakers of German:
Preparation of a translation portfolio, consisting of a German source text of about 1,000
words (source text needs to be approved by the course convenor), its translation into
English, and a written record of the translation and the research process (i.e. information
about the sources consulted, sample parallel texts, background information, etc.). Translation 60%. Pre-translation analysis plus annotations 40%.

Students whose mother tongue is neither English nor German need to decide on one of the two options in consultation with the lecturer. Students taking both English-German and German-English, for whom neither language is mother-tongue, must complete both types of assessment, one for each module.

Number of credits: 20

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the relevance of contemporary translation theories to translation performance

  • different types of written communication; their communicative functions, text types , genres

  • key features of argumentative, informative and expressive discourse

  • the complexities of reader expectations, needs and profile in text reception

  • the importance of source text analysis as a pre-requisite for production of a functionally adequate target text

  • the role of a brief in determining professional text production and adequacy for purpose – target audience, purpose, scope, deadlines, selection of material

  • the importance of revising translated text

Methods of learning and teaching: Class discussion, supported by independent reflection and preparation of specific texts within the framework of a specified brief: each week students will prepare a draft translation of one text and edit their draft of the previous one to a professional standard. During the seminar, an interactive approach to analysis and discussion will encourage reflection, argumentation skills and reasoning supported by evidence. The texts to be translated will be taken from the domains of political, legal, cultural and journalistic discourses, with a special emphasis on European affairs. Work with a range of text types and genres will promote an enhanced command of various styles of written English and French.

Method of Assessment: The structure of assessment will depend on the mother tongue of the student concerned.

For native speakers of French:
1. a take-away paper, translation into French (600-700 words, to be completed within 48 hours) with annotations 60% of the final mark
2. a two-hour examination, translation into French (text of 400 words) - 40% of the final mark.

For native speakers of English:
Preparation of a translation portfolio, consisting of an English source text of about 1,000 words (source text needs to be approved by the course convenor), its translation into French, and a written record of the translation and the research process (i.e. information about the sources consulted, sample parallel texts, background information, etc. Translation 60%. Pre-translation analysis plus annotations 40%.

Students whose mother tongue is neither English nor French need to decide on one of the two options in consultation with the lecturer. Students taking both English-French and French-English, for whom neither language is mother-tongue, must complete both types of assessment, one for each module.

Number of credits: 20

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the relevance of contemporary translation theories to translation performance

  • different types of written communication; their communicative functions, text types , genres

  • key features of argumentative, informative and expressive discourse

  • the complexities of reader expectations, needs and profile in text reception

  • the importance of source text analysis as a pre-requisite for production of a functionally adequate target text

  • the role of a brief in determining professional text production and adequacy for purpose – target audience, purpose, scope, deadlines, selection of material

  • the importance of revising translated text

Methods of learning and teaching: Class discussion, supported by independent reflection and preparation of specific texts within the framework of a specified brief: each week students will prepare a draft translation of one text and edit their draft of the previous one to a professional standard. During the seminar, an interactive approach to analysis and discussion will encourage reflection, argumentation skills and reasoning supported by evidence. The texts to be translated will be taken from the domains of political, legal, cultural and journalistic discourses, with a special emphasis on European affairs. Work with a range of text types and genres will promote an enhanced command of various styles of written English and German.

Method of Assessment: The structure of assessment will depend on the mother tongue of the student concerned.

For native speakers of German:
1. a take-away paper, translation into German (600-700 words, to be completed within 48 hours) with annotations 60% of the final mark
2. a two-hour examination, translation into German (text of 400 words) - 40% of the final mark

For native speakers of English:
Preparation of a translation portfolio, consisting of an English source text of about 1,000 words (source text needs to be approved by the course convenor), its translation into German, and a written record of the translation and the research process (i.e. information about the sources consulted, sample parallel texts, background information, etc.). Translation 60%. Pre-translation analysis plus annotations 40%.

Students whose mother tongue is neither English nor German need to decide on one of the two options in consultation with the lecturer. Students taking both English-German and German-English, for whom neither language is mother-tongue, must complete both types of assessment, one for each module.

Number of credits: 20

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the relevance of contemporary translation theories to translation performance

  • different types of written communication; their communicative functions, text types , genres

  • key features of argumentative, informative and expressive discourse

  • the complexities of reader expectations, needs and profile in text reception

  • the importance of source text analysis as a pre-requisite for production of a functionally adequate target text

  • the role of a brief in determining professional text production and adequacy for purpose – target audience, purpose, scope, deadlines, selection of material

  • the importance of revising translated text

Methods of learning and teaching: Class discussion, supported by independent reflection and preparation of specific texts within the framework of a specified brief: each week students will prepare a draft translation of one text and edit their draft of the previous one to a professional standard. During the seminar, an interactive approach to analysis and discussion will encourage reflection, argumentation skills and reasoning supported by evidence. The texts to be translated will be taken from the domains of political, legal, cultural and journalistic discourses, with a special emphasis on European affairs. Work with a range of text types and genres will promote an enhanced command of various styles of written English and Spanish.

Method of Assessment: The structure of assessment will depend on the mother tongue of the student concerned.

For native speakers of Spanish:
1. a take-away paper, translation into Spanish (600-700 words, to be completed within 48 hours) with annotations 60% of the final mark
2. a two-hour examination, translation into Spanish (text of 400 words) - 40% of the final mark.

For native speakers of English:
Preparation of a translation portfolio, consisting of a English source text of about 1,000 words (source text needs to be approved by the course convenor), its translation into Spanish, and a written record of the translation and the research process (i.e. information about the sources consulted, sample parallel texts, background information, etc. Translation 60%. Pre-translation analysis plus annotations 40%.

Students whose mother tongue is neither English nor Spanish need to decide on one of the two options in consultation with the lecturer. Students taking both English-Spanish and Spanish-English, for whom neither language is mother-tongue, must complete both types of assessment, one for each module.

Number of credits: 20

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the relevance of contemporary translation theories to translation performance

  • different types of written communication; their communicative functions, text types , genres

  • key features of argumentative, informative and expressive discourse

  • the complexities of reader expectations, needs and profile in text reception

  • the importance of source text analysis as a pre-requisite for production of a functionally adequate target text

  • the role of a brief in determining professional text production and adequacy for purpose – target audience, purpose, scope, deadlines, selection of material

  • the importance of revising translated text

Methods of learning and teaching: Class discussion, supported by independent reflection and preparation of specific texts within the framework of a specified brief: each week students will prepare a draft translation of one text and edit their draft of the previous one to a professional standard. During the seminar, an interactive approach to analysis and discussion will encourage reflection, argumentation skills and reasoning supported by evidence. The texts to be translated will be taken from the domains of political, legal, cultural and journalistic discourses, with a special emphasis on European affairs. Work with a range of text types and genres will promote an enhanced command of various styles of written English and Spanish.

Method of Assessment: The structure of assessment will depend on the mother tongue of the student concerned.

For native speakers of English:
1. a take-away paper, translation into English (600-700 words, to be completed within 48 hours) with annotations 60% of the final mark
2. a two-hour examination, translation into English (text of 400 words) - 40% of the final mark.

For native speakers of Spanish:
Preparation of a translation portfolio, consisting of a Spanish source text of about 1,000 words (source text needs to be approved by the course convenor), its translation into English, and a written record of the translation and the research process (i.e. information about the sources consulted, sample parallel texts, background information, etc.). Translation 60%. Pre-translation analysis plus annotations 40%.

Students whose mother tongue is neither English nor Spanish need to decide on one of the two options in consultation with the lecturer. Students taking both English-Spanish and Spanish-English, for whom neither language is mother-tongue, must complete both types of assessment, one for each module.

You will take part in interactive seminars, presentations and group work as well as attending lectures and tutorials.  There are also opportunities for individual research. Assessment is on a credit accumulation basis and by written examination (practical translation modules), oral examination (text analysis module), extended essay (remaining modules). For Teaching in Practice, teaching performance will also be assessed. Successful completion of the taught modules is a precondition for proceeding to a 15,000 word dissertation leading to the MA.
Graduates on the translation studies programmes have gone on to work as translators, technical editors and translation project managers for translation companies and software developers, both in the United Kingdom and abroad. Graduates of the TESOL programmes work as teachers in TESOL all over the world.
For further information please contact:
Tel: +44 (0) 121 204 3762
Fax: +44 (0) 121 204 3766
Email:
lss_pgadmissions@aston.ac.uk

Accommodation

Accommodation

Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and bursaries

Student support - we're with you all the way

Student support - we're with you all the way

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research